An Ethiopian chemical engineer, Freweini Mebrahtu has been named Hero of the Year by the CNN news channel.

Ms Mebrahtu known for making reusable pads, won the award for her ‘’reusable pads project’’, which is said to have helped keep Ethiopian girls in rural areas in school.

Through an online vote, Ms Mebrahtu was able to win the award and will be given $100,000 (£76,000) to boost her reusable pad project.

According to reports from a previous interview with BBC Tigrinya, Ms Mebrahtu said when she started her project people laughed at her.

But the major reason she kept on working was because she discovered the need to uphold the dignity of Ethiopian women and girls.

In response to this fact, she said, “The moment girls and women in rural Tigray told me they sit in a hole during their period, I was shocked,”

Ms Mebrahtu did not only design the pad but decided to patent the reusable menstrual pad in 2005.

On number of reusable pads produced yearly, Ms Mebahtu disclosed that, she and her team produce 700,000 reusable pads at her factory in Ethiopia.

It has also been recorded that more than 80% of the pads she manufactures are sold to non-governmental organizations that distribute them for free.